2009 has seen the release of “The Watchmen” credited with helping to bring a darker and more grittier comic book universe to the cinema. Behind all of the hollywood glamour, amazing special effects, and multi-million funded film studio, lies Alan Moore the comic book writer.
Read on to find out more about this smart and complex writer who created The Watchmen and asked for his name to be removed from every piece of work that involves it.
Alan Moore started his career in comics as a cartoonist, after being expelled from school for selling LSD. He drew cartoon strips and other pieces for newspapers and magazines but eventually decided that he should focus on writing instead.
He worked for a bevy of British publishers, writing Captain Britain for Marvel UK Halo Jones for 2000 AD, and Miracleman (Marvelman in the UK) for Warrior. This is only a few of the stories he told while writing for British comics, some of which are still popular today.
Moore was one of the many British creators wooed over to DC during the 80’s, and Moore wrote many DC characters, notably his run on Swamp Thing and Superman. It was then that Moore created Watchmen and V For Vendetta for DC. These works launched Moore into becoming one of comics new superstars.
Problems continued to arise when Moore found a situation he was morally against. He grew concerned about how British creators didn’t retain any rights to their works and stopped working for the companies because of it. His time with Marvel came under strain when they printed his run of Doctor Who comics, but his greatest public dispute has always been with DC.
Moore was also frustrated that he and artist Gibbons weren’t receiving enough royalties for their work on Watchmen and other comics they had created for the company. He left and has vowed to never work for DC or Marvel
Things got complicated when Moore went to Image to launch his own line of comics named ABC – America’s Best Comics. The line included many new titles that sprung from Moore’s imagination, including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Top Ten, Tomorrow Stories, and Prometha. He produced them under Jim Lee’s Wildstorm imprint, but when Lee sold Wildstorm to DC Comics, Moore found himself once again working for DC. Even though DC vowed to not interfere with his work, there were too many instances where DC editorial interfered with his work and Moore ended up taking his work to smaller publisher Top Shelf Comix.
He has also had friction from about the movies made about his works, often choosing to have no involvement with the production. This hasn’t worked well as he has been more disappointed with the end result and has asked that his name be removed from the works in question.
Despite all of this, Moore is still a fan favorite who continues to create highly imaginative series and characters that are snapped up as soon as they are printed. His work shows a complexity usually unknown to comics. His work is credited with bringing comics to a place where they can tackle such issues as racism, sexuality, war, and environmentalism. He continues to write to this day and produce thought provoking works that push the boundaries of what is acceptable and able to be accomplished in comics.
For more on Alan More check out his fansite here